Awards, incentives & recognition

The SOA runs several incentive schemes to encourage members to participate and develop skill level, plus a number of annual award schemes for members who have made an exceptional contribution to the sport.

Incentive Courses and Awards

SOA Courses Completed

We like to encourage members to take part, and run a badge scheme to award members when they complete a number of orienteering courses. There are badges for 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 courses completed. Keep a record on the progress tracker in your welcome pack, and request a free badge from a club official.

SOA Colour Coded Awards

Orienteering courses are colour-coded according to length and technical difficulty (read more here). We award members with badges according to the colour courses they complete at events, and therefore how they further develop skill level.

For White, Yellow and Orange courses, you can compete on your own or as a pair.

  • To gain a White badge, you simply have to complete 3 White courses.
  • For a badge on all other courses you need to complete 3 courses within 50% of the winner’s time, or finish in the top 50% of the finishers.

Use your Record Sheet in your welcome pack to keep track of whether you have gained a badge standard for each event, then contact your club to ask for your free badge.

Star Awards

The Star Awards scheme is for participants of coaching sessions. A range of skills involved in orienteering are developed in a balanced way. This builds on the principle that ‘skills mastery’ is a better motivator for prolonged participation than a focus on results and winning.

There are four levels of Star Awards. Most juniors will achieve the 1-star after a few coached sessions in school or club; many experienced adult orienteers will benefit from evaluating their performance against the 3-star, then fine-tuning with the 4-star level. There is no formal assessment or specified criteria for it, as assessment is not the key factor. Coaches use the awards to identify imbalances and areas for improvement, and participants can easily identify what they should work on. Participants are probably the best judges of their own standards for the 3 and 4-star levels, and even the 2-star participants will benefit from the discussion around how they’re progressing.

The coach’s progress checklist records also serves as the certificate of achievement, and many clubs have their own branded version. Non-branded PDFs can be downloaded in Coaches Resources. Please contact the SOA Office if your club would like its own version.

Other awards

British Orienteering runs the National Badge Scheme, as well as two incentive schemes:

    • the Navigation Challenge
  • the Racing Challenge

Visit the British Orienteering website – – for more details.

Exceptional Contribution Awards

Supporting Year of Young People in Scotland

Young Orienteer of the Year

In 2018, as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, we launched the Young Orienteer of the Year Award which was very kindly sponsored by Tulloch Homes.

Young people have a great role to play in encouraging outdoor activities in Scotland

The award is open to all our junior members, to celebrate how they’ve contributed to orienteering, in any way. This is to especially recognise the wonderful junior volunteers who contribute to making events happen, help run club sessions, get friends and family involved… the list is endless!

In 2018 we received an exceptionally strong list of nominated members. From the shortlist, the selected winner was Ben Brown (ESOC), who helps with SI at nearly every ESOC/INT/ELO event, has planned courses, helped with remapping, has attended a Coaching Foundation course, is a Young Leader with his local Cub Group and coaches them in orienteering; is always keen, enthusiastic, has an unassuming manner, and is an absolute credit to the club.

SOA President’s Medal

The President’s Medal is awarded annually to a volunteer who has contributed or achieved something exceptional in the last year or over recent years. This may be a club- or sport-related contribution, or athletic achievement.  Click onto the recipients to learn more about their role and contribution to the SOA.

SOA President's Medal2018 Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC)
2017 Robin & Sheila Strain (ELO)
2016 Richard Oxlade (GRAMP)
2015 Sally Lindsay (ESOC)
2014 Jessica & James Tullie (BASOC)
2013 Anne Hickling (GRAMP)
2012 Claire Ward (ESOC)
2011 Blair Young (TINTO)
2010 Mike Rodgers (MOR), Dave Prentice (TAY)
2009 Paul Frost (ECKO)
2008 Donald Petrie (CLYDE)
2007 Lynne Walker (ECKO)
2006 Mike Atherton (BASOC)
2005 Robin Strain (ELO)
2004 Jamie Stevenson (ESOC)
2003 Maureen Brown (FVO)
2002 Oleg Chepelin (INT)
2001 Jamie Stevenson (ESOC)

British Orienteering awards

Every year, British Orienteering looks for nominations for the Volunteer Awards. Nominations are taken throughout the year, and the winners announced on the day of the British Orienteering AGM. 

The categories are: 

    • Club of the Year
    • University Club of the Year
    • Young Volunteer of the Year
    • Silva Award (special achievement over a number of years)
  • Coach of the Year

Nomination forms can be found here:

sportscotland awards

The SOA encourages clubs and members to recognise outstanding achievement, and local and national awards provide Scottish sport with the opportunity to thank coaches, officials and volunteers for their commitment and dedication throughout the year.

Annually, sportscotland Coaching, Officiating & Volunteering (COV) Award winners are nominated at the UK Coaching Awards, delivered by UK Coaching (formally known as sportscoach UK). These awards recognise the best of the United Kingdom’s coaching talent.

To contribute to the vision of a World Class Sporting System, the COV Awards contribute to the development of people. As part of ‘Raising the Bar’, the nominations for the awards are the enablers; the people who make things happen. They are making an impact locally across clubs, communities, schools and performance sport. Furthermore, the awards ensure that three key areas are at the forefront of ‘Priorities for Improvement’ supporting:

    • Equalities & Inclusion – Ensuring coaching can be accessed by everyone
    • People Development – Developing capability and leadership within sport
  • Collaboration & Improvement – Working in partnership to continue improving how we use the collective resources to strengthen collaboration and connections to communicate the impact of sports coaching, officiating and volunteering

For more information and to nominate, click here.